2019 Dry River Martinborough Pinot Noir

94 Points Richard Caro
In stock
Is this NZ’s top Pinot? Huge depth and complexity comes from old vines (20+ years), along with tender viticulture and extremely low yields. The sheer fruit depth is layered with undertones of earthy herbs and spice, which cry out for development in bottle but are appealing on release. To drink this is to be in the presence of greatness, with concentration and authenticity that might command twice this price one day.
$89.99 in mixed 6+ or $99.99 per bottle


Pinot Noir

Its Origins

Dry River took its simple but evocative name from an historic sheep station that used to exist a few kilometres away on the dry, wandering river plains between Martinborough and lake Wairarapa. Planted by the visionary Neil and Dawn McCallum in 1979 - a good few years ahead of ‘old hand’ Alan Limmer in Gimblett Gravels - Dry River were not only ahead of the curve but can these days speak meaningfully about the old vine presence and impact on the estate’s production. With an approach and culture that feels quite European, Dry River are interested in sustainability and minimal intervention - especially in the winery - but always with a reasoned eye for what is pragmatic and particular to their terroir. Eschewing the Kiwi obsession with varietal flavour-making and wines to drink now, Dry River focus their impressive resources on the simple but complex task of producing and preserving true physiological ripeness, in this way making wines of extreme quality and balance that are often approachable young but reach their true expression after some years in cellar.

What The Critics Say

Winemaker notes on current 2019 vintage

"The colour is deep ruby red with a dark cherry-like core. Dense and intense aromatics are laced with a lifted perfume fragrance. The fruit shows cherry and blueberry pie with cassis, blackberries, and tamarillo. More complex aromas show savoury characters like straw, graphite, char, dark chocolate, pencil shavings, and even some herbs like thyme and sage. As a result, the wine is very seductive, with a degree of mystique and flair. — A degree of intimacy is immediately apparent on the palate. The initial fruit sweetness makes way for supple tannins that draw outwards from the middle. This opens the centre up for the fruit weight to show and also broadens the mouthfeel, giving the wine an approachable appearance. The wine comes together at the back via a gentle acidity in the form of cherries and tamarillo. All the time, the wine just wants to please."

95/100 Cameron Douglas MS (2018 vintage)

"Smoky, savoury, lots of pure red berry fruits aromas, clove and baking spices, roses and silty soil scents; complex. On the palate - flavours of plums and raspberry, macerated cherry and roses. Layers of new oak and baking spices begin to weave through the palate with medium+ chalky textured tannins, medium+ acidity and a youthful core of energy. Well made, classic Dry River, very youthful and quite complex, lengthy detailed finish, a delight to taste. Decant for service or wait till 2022 and through 2026.+ to enjoy at its best." Drink 2022 - 2026

94/100 Bob Campbell MW (2018 vintage)

"Bright, high-energy and slightly edgy pinot noir with dark cherry, violet, raspberry, fresh herb, anise and spice flavours. A firmly-structured red with a backbone of peppery tannins that are locking in flavour at this early stage but suggest a promising future. 27 MAY 2020." Drink 2020 - 2029

Variety Pinot Noir
Region Martinborough / Wairarapa
Closure Cork
Volume 750ml
Alcohol 13.00%
Maturity 2021 - 2031

This Wine Goes Well With

with BEEF
with DUCK



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If for any reason you are not entirely happy with your order or you suspect that they may be affected by a quality issue, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will remedy the problem straight away. Contact us on 0800 422 767.

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